Drivers want answers after spending the night on I-40 west of Flagstaff | stranded is Arizona news
WILLIAMS, AZ (3TV / CBS 5) – Kimberly Griego-Kiel and her wife Rose sat in their car for 15 hours and were stranded on I-40 over the weekend. Drivers in the same situation had a huge backup on Saturday evening.
“It’s cold so turn the car on and off and try to stay warm and not run out of gas and worry,” said Kimberly.
When asked why DPS does not reroute drivers, a spokesman for DPS wrote in an email: “Several drivers have made the U-turn to return to Flagstaff. Our priority has been to remove the bottlenecks on the road and the traffic Moving … which we did. As I mentioned, this also meant waking up the drivers to get them moving. “
DPS said the storm caused slow traffic as drivers had difficulty seeing the road.
“The big problem we had was utility vehicles and passenger car drivers sleeping in their cars. Soldiers literally had to knock on the driver’s window all the time to wake them up and get them moving. We also had a large number of utility vehicles on the road trying to drive west on Interstate 40, “the DPS spokesman said in an email.
“We were less than a quarter of a mile from an overpass to turn around,” said Kimberly. “I don’t understand why they didn’t allow people to turn around there. It doesn’t make any sense.”
“It was the worst-managed traffic incident in an ice storm that I have experienced in my life,” said Gerry Bovee, who was unable to go out of traffic on I-40.
ADOT said it posted traffic information online and on its app, but those without cell phone service felt left in the dark.
“We had very little cellular coverage,” said Kimberly. “It was super blotchy.”
“That’s why it’s very important to us to check before you go and be prepared before you leave,” said Ryan Harding, a public information officer at ADOT.
“There should have been signs much further back and distracting to warn that the road was closed in front of them and to give people an opportunity to turn back,” said Kimberly.
ADOT said there were 15 overhead message boards on I-40 between Kingman and Holbrook with messages about driving in winter, but drivers on the road like Kimberly and Rose said they had never seen signs showing people outside huge backup warned.
ADOT claims it is looking for ways to improve communications in the future. When asked for examples, Harding said, “It’s still in development, but we’ll talk about that later.”
“Caused a lot of angry people,” said Rose.
Copyright 2021 KPHO / KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.